RANKINGS: DePaul (#129 KenPom) | Youngstown State (#319 KenPom)
RECORDS: DePaul (2-4) | Youngstown State (2-6)
DATE & TIME: Saturday, Dec. 2 - 2:00 p.m. ET
TV CHANNEL: FSN (check local listings)
WATCH ONLINE: FoxSports GO
DePaul lost two of three games in last week’s PK80 Invitational, but the experience was not necessarily a negative one. In fact, the Blue Demons learned something valuable about themselves – they can compete with great teams.
DePaul first battled fourth-ranked Michigan State for thirty minutes before the Spartans pulled ahead in the final ten minutes. The following day, DePaul gave Oregon all it could handle. The Ducks were saved by an inspired performance by Payton Pritchard and ended up prevailing in overtime.
After winning its final game of the PK80 against Portland, DePaul improved its record to 2-4. On Saturday, DePaul looks for its first winning streak since beating Chicago State and Southeast Missouri State in December of last year. Standing in the way are the Youngstown State Penguins.
Youngstown State, which finished ninth in the Horizon League last year is off to a slow start this season, and looks ill-equipped to compete with the Blue Demons. Neverthless, DePaul can hardly afford to take this game for granted. The game is part of an important six-game stretch leading up to conference play for DePaul. Five of those six games appear to be very winnable, with Northwestern the only real challenge.
This stretch, beginning Saturday, could give DePaul a chance to fine-tune its skills and discover confidence that has eluded the Blue Demons in recent years. Max Strus and Marin Maric look to continue a streak of good performances, and the Blue Demons’ guardline will look to contain the Penguins’ leading scorer, Cameron Morse, who has turned in several high-scoring performances already this season.